The climate-smart agriculture implementer

June 2015. Photos: G. Smith/CIAT

The rapid pace of climate change, and its impact on global food security, means a greater sense of urgency needs to be applied to putting adaptation and mitigation measures in place. Scientific experts and farmers in Asia face a communication gap which prevents the sustainable scaling out and adoption of climate-smart agricultural technologies and practices. The CSA Implementer is a mobile phone application which uses crowdsourcing to bridge the communication gap between farmers and experts with the aim of fast-tracking CSA adoption. Developed in cooperation with CIAT

Investment outcome

CIAT aims to accelerate the rate of adoption of climate-smart agricultural (CSA) practices and technologies in Asia, and to help farmers adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. The CSA Implementer combines highly relevant CSA research outputs with practical knowledge on the ground, uses modern information and communication technology (ICT) to support the interaction between actors, and improves the flow of information between scientific experts, implementers, and farmers.

The challenge

The rapid pace of climate change, and its impact on global food security, means a greater sense of urgency needs to be applied to putting adaption and mitigation measures in place. But selecting the ideal combination of CSA practices and getting farmers to adopt them is a complex task. All too often, important stakeholders – like farmers, experts, and implementers – are left out of the CSA practice selection process and lack of communication continues throughout CSA implementation. Farmers have limited access to the information they need about specific farming practices and local conditions. Climate scientists and agricultural experts with the know-how on CSA are disconnected from the farmers and implementers onthe-ground and, as a consequence, may not take into account the local socio-ecological conditions.

The opportunity

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are valuable tools to support the implementation process of CSA practices by improving communication. They can build a bridge between experts and farmers, as well as donors, and project implementers – stimulating discussions between different actors. ICTs are also well-suited for simple project monitoring and evaluation.

The strategy

The CSA Implementer platform is a crowdsourcing tool used to collect and share relevant data for monitoring and scaling out promising climate-smart agricultural practices. A mobile phone application supports knowledge exchange. For example, farmers can ask extension workers questions and be connected to national and international CSA experts. Lessons learned, spatial observations, and issues can be documented by local experts and attended to by experts through the interactive platform. Best practices of CSA implementation are spatially documented and can be out scaled to other similar regions.

Contact

For more information please contact Anton Eitzinger, Spatial Analyst and Climate Change Scientist at CIAT.